Alarm goes off. Snooze. Alarm goes off again. Snooze. Alarm goes off a THIRD time. Snooze. This is me in the morning. I HATE mornings, but I love morning classes.
It is that time again, getting back into the role of things (after all that food and chocolate!). I always love new classes, getting new books, new pamphlets, excited to meet new professors… Am I the only one that likes to meet new professors? I find that the first class of the semester always says a lot about how they are going to teach, their methods and if I will like them.
It is hard getting back into the swing of things. Studying in France is not like studying in the states. What I used to be able to take in throughout an all nighter is practically impossible here. I have to study continuously throughout the semester if I actually want to keep up with the class. Multiple choice exams? Ha! That only exists in your dreams! They want a 6 page essay written within the margin of 2-3 hours, detailing everything, and with the exact method asked. Their grading system here is out of 20 points, but you will be lucky to even get 14-16 (that is actually an A in the states).
I am excited for this semester. Last semester I was studying ancient and medieval history, which I found a drag. I did like Ancient history though because we learned about Greece and Rome, and they are the origins of democracy and the republic. This semester, we are focusing on modern and contemporary history, which I found more relevant to today’s ideals (especially contemporary in which we will talk a lot about economic and social history). Even though I am finding it difficult to get back into the swing of things, I have found a few solutions that are helping me:
- Bullet journaling: this is a new concept, and one that I think will most likely work for me. Everyone can make their own, and make it work best for their needs. On the left side of my journal, I typically have a list of things to do outside of class (meetings, lunches, dates, etc.). On the right side I have my class schedule and the homework I need to do.
- Going to sleep earlier: It is a lifesaver. Why did I not do this before? I feel like this is one of the first signs that I am getting old…
- Taking time in the morning for me: As in taking my time to get ready, put on some make up, maybe revise some stuff, etc. Having this little hour in the morning makes me feel prepared to take on the day, and motivated.
- Reading more: When I was young, I used to read a lot. My mom’s punishments were not taking away the T.V. but taking away my books. I always found a way to get around it though. She would hide the book I was reading in her closet and I would end up sneaking in there and reading. She never caught me and I might get a phone call after she reads this point… But I did give up on reading by the end of high school. When I moved to France, I thought I would put more effort in reading, but I ended up being a social butterfly. Re-gaining my love for books, and in the end writing, is really helping me out at the moment.
I know getting back into the routine is not fun. For me, going back home to states was one of the main stresses on my body coming back to France (first finals and then new classes). Coming back to a new semester with classes that intrigue me does not make it as difficult. I once told a professor that the reason I wanted to get my degree wasn’t to have a history diploma, but I wanted to learn how to think. If I graduate university and do not understand the foundation of my ideas and way of thinking, I will find it a waste of money. I shocked him, and he replied that he had never heard someone say that and actually agreed with that point. So, even though classes, grades, tests and studying may not be the funnest of things, I try my best to think about that point. If I work hard, when I graduate it will be worth it. Also, having Fridays off does help a lot!
How do you get back into your routines?
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